Clorox Offers Flat Fiscal 1Q Earnings, Soft Outlook for 2011

Personal-care and home-cleaning products maker Clorox (NYSE:CLX) announced Tuesday flat earnings for its first quarter and offered a full-year earnings projection that was less than what Wall Street was expecting.

Clorox said 2011 earnings would fall between $4.05 to $4.20 a share, while Thomson Reuters analysts polled had projected numbers close to $4.59 per share previously.

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First-quarter profit totaled $140 million, or 98 cents per share, compared with $140 million, or 99 cents per share in the previous year. Overall sales for the company dropped to $1.27 billion, or a decline of 3%. Net earnings came in at $216 million, or $1.52 per share, compared with $157 million, or $1.11 per share, last year.

Clorox, which noted a drop in volume of 2% for the quarter, cemented a $780 million deal last month to sell its auto-care product division to private equity firm Avista Capital Partners. Clorox said it will focus more intently on its beauty product and hospital disinfectants lines.